By Sydni Williams
FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham Strategic Initiatives and Financial Oversight Committee (SIFOC) held a meeting on Monday, November 23 to discuss the City Council’s request for a recommendation on salary & compensation for elected officials, including the Mayor, the 11-member City Council, and the 9-member School Committee.
The SIFOC was created by the Charter to advise the Mayor, Council and School Committee on the status of Framingham’s long-range strategic plan related to the state of the municipal economy, sufficiency of municipal revenues, and other fiscal matters that may from time to time be referred to it.
The Charter created the City of Framingham’s first Mayor’s salary as the same as the last Town Manager.
Mayor Yvonne Spicer’s salary for this fiscal year is $187,639.
The City Councilors and the School Committee members each receive a $5,000 stipend. The chairs receive an additional $2,500 for a $7,500 stipend.
SIFOC member James Culhane introduced the idea of referring to the city of Newton’s extensive report from May, 2019. Using this report, most of the heavy lifting is done, only an update in the form of an addendum would be necessary.
Culhane said, “Given that this is quite new and seems to be exactly what we’re asked to do, not to use it just seems silly.”
In September of 2019, the City of Newton increased its compensation for its mayor and other elected officials.
The Newton Mayor’s salary increased from $125,000 in 2019 to $155,000 in 2020.
Newton’s 24 city councilors had earned a stipend of $9,750. City councilors voted to increase that to $15,500. Framingham has 11 City Councilors.
City Council in Newton also voted to increase stipends for School Committee members from $4,875 to $7,750. Framingham has 9 School Committee members.
Framingham became a City on January 1, 2018. Spicer is the first elected in the City. Next mayoral election is November 2021.
SIFOC Committee member Gerard E. Desilets introduced a motion to create a 3-member subcommittee to do research and report back in early 2021.
Desilets said, “we could probably present options to them,” but he acknowledged “the City Council, in the end, will be making a political decision of whether they get paid or not.”
SIFOC voted unanimously in favor of his motion to create the 3-member subcommittee.
The Committee decided to create the subcommittee from one city-council appointed member, one mayor’s office appointed member, and one school department appointed member.
With a 3-member subcommittee, it would be efficient and comfortable as there would be no open meeting requirements.
Committee members on the subcommittee are Mary Kate Feeney, Joel Francis, and David Mawhinney.
The target date for completing this work is the beginning of February 2021.
Sydni Williams is a 2020 SOURCE intern, and a student at St.Mark’s School in Southborough.